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American Sheepdog Online CCW Resource Magazine - WWII German Browning Hi-Power 9mm with Nazi markings
  • WWII German Browning Hi-Power 9mm with Nazi markings

    I have a Browning Hi-Power from WWII with all sorts of German manufacture stamps and markings, the language on it is in German best I can recall, anyone know how I could get some information or history on this gun?

    UPDATED! SEE POST #5



    This article was originally published in forum thread: WWII German Browning Hi-Power 9mm with Nazi markings started by UGA View original post
    Comments 4 Comments
    1. Sgt T's Avatar
      Sgt T -
      Post some good photos of the cartouches and I will have my gun collector expert look at them. He'll either know or know where to look.
    1. Decline's Avatar
      Decline -
      Another gun hunt.. ooh this is fun!
    1. UGA's Avatar
      UGA -
      Quote Originally Posted by Sgt T View Post
      Post some good photos of the cartouches and I will have my gun collector expert look at them. He'll either know or know where to look.
      I have shot normal 9mm ammo in it...

      It has fixed sights and matching #'s (XXXa) for the slide, barrel and frame. Here is some of the writing on it...


      1. FABRIQUE NATIONALE D'ARMES DE GUERRE
      2. HERSTAL BELGIQUE
      3. BROWNINGS PATENT DEPOSE

      It has the spread wing eagle stamp in many places with WBA140 under it. The stamp is only 3-4mm wide. The letters and numbers under it are hard to see, I used a magnifying glass.
    1. UGA's Avatar
      UGA -
      I have discovered more on this gun. It is a Browning Hi-Power made at the FN plant in Belgium during Nazi occupation in 1943. The stamps show the Nazi eagle and the Nazi war office inspection marks. Here is what I was able to learn.

      (Sourcing from research on the internet and magazine articles)

      The GP-35, or Grand Puissance, as the Browning Hi-Power was originally called, was developed at the request of the French government for a post-World War I replacement pistol that was easy to field strip, had an external hammer, a minimum magazine capacity of 10 rounds, and was accurate out to 50 meters. It also had to have a magazine disconnect, meaning the gun wouldn’t fire unless the magazine was fully inserted. The man commissioned to design this wündergun was John Browning, who had created the Government Model 1911 pistol. In designing the gun that would become the Hi-Power, Browning had to circumvent many of his M1911 patents, which were owned by Colt.


      Sadly, John Browning never got to finish the job, on Nov. 26, 1929 he died of a heart attack in Belgium at the Fabrique Nationale (FN) plant. Luckily they had another talented designer, Dieudonné Joseph Saive. He perfected the gun’s innovative double-stack magazine, giving the gun a 13+1 capacity and its Hi-Power name.

      Saive eventually had an advantage John Browning did not, in 1928 Colt’s M1911 patents expired permitting some designs such as a simplified take down system to be incorporated into the Hi-Power.

      In 1935, the Browning Hi-Power with a 4 5/8-inch barrel weighing 2 pounds and able to print 2 1/2-inch groups at more than 50 yards in spite of its heavy trigger pull, was introduced.


      The French government passed on the gun, but Belgium and other countries eagerly accepted it. Production of the P-35 began in 1935. When the Germans occupied Belgium in 1940 and took over FN, the Hi-Power was renamed Pistole 640(b) (for Belgisch/Belgium). These Hi-Power pistols manufactured by the Nazi's were issued to the SS and paratroopers. The Hi-Power was issued to both sides during World War II, with Allied guns being made by John Inglis & Co. in Canada. Civilian U.S. importation began in 1954. Since 1971, some Hi-Powers have been assembled in FN’s Portuguese factory using Belgian parts, but contrary to rumors, the gun has never been manufactured in Portugal.


      This Hi-Power is a wartime pistol. With German Waffenamt (Weapons Office) inspection stamps, matching serial numbers and walnut stocks. Subsequent stocks were Bakelite (Plastic). Manufactured with only an 85 percent finish it does not have Belgium’s pre-war polish but has yet to exhibit the roughness of later guns made under Nazi occupation.

      The Stamps

      WaA140
      - Nazi Hi powers were made under three Waffenamt codes-WaA613, WaA103, and WaA140. These are listed from early to late. The third and final German WWII era made Hi-Powers will be found with the Waffenamt stamp WaA140. These WaA140 stamped pistols were manufactured from late 1941 until the liberation of the FN plant in Belgium in 1944. None of these pistols will have the shoulder stock slot, but the early made examples in the serial number range of 95,000 to 135,000 will have the tangent rear sight. When the tangent rear sight was removed, the Germans replaced it with a fixed rear sight that was drift adjustable for windage only. It appears that the first of these WaA140 marked fixed rear sight pistols begin at around the serial number of 150,000 which leaves a gap in the serial number range between the tangent and fixed sight WaA140 marked pistols.The fixed sight WaA140 marked pistols continued until around serial number 200,000 which dates them toward the end of 1942.

      FABRIQUE NATIONALE D'ARMS DE GUERRE
      = National Factory of Arms for War

      BROWNINGS PATENT DEPOSE = Brownings Patent Filed (Why it just says patent filed, I don't know)


      My Serial number 7xxa (the other 2 numbers omitted)


      At the beginning of 1943, a new serial code numbering system is used which began at number 01a until number 99999a was reached that year. Then at the beginning of 1944 the serial number 01b began and continues to about 6300b, at which time German production ceased due to the liberation of the FN factory. All of the letter suffixed serial numbered pistols will be found with the fixed rear sight.


      Conclusion

      Based on my serial #, it was made in early 1943. The slide, frame and barrel have matching serial numbers but the magazine does not though it should. Those that do are worth more, especially if it has the original issue holster. My pistol doesn't have the magazine disconnect to prevent it from firing with the magazine removed. I'm still checking on that. I think I ran across an article explaining that but I didn't make note of it so I'm trying to find it again. The Germans changed some things... While mine doesn't have the slot to accept a shoulder stock, I do however have one! The stock also serves as a holster. I've included some pictures of it.

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